Half Marathon Worlds. The Kiplimo surprise, Cheptegei only 4th. Sport

The World Half Marathon took place this Saturday in Gdynia in Poland, and gave rise to a surprise. Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo was crowned as the favorite, his compatriot Joshua Cheptegei, finished just 4e.

Kiplimo, who will be 20 years old on November 14 and had never run the 21.1 km distance, edged Kenyan Kibiwott Kandie and Ethiopian Amedework Walelegn in 58’48 ”.

It all happened after the 15the km when Kandie and Kiplimo blew up the leading group before the Ugandan prodigy, world junior cross champion in 2017, made the difference in the final meters to take away the first big title of his young career. “I knew in the last 5 kilometers that the title would be for me”, he explained.

Cheptegei, failure after perf ‘

For Cheptegei, this failure comes after an impressive season that saw him become the benchmark in the world middle distance. The Ugandan (24 years old) has only made three outings this year but has each time broken the world record (5 km in February, 5,000 m in August, 10,000 m in October).

This is to say if he had the favorite label stuck on his back. World champion in the 10,000m and cross country, he also aspired to become the second athlete to win a title at this level on tartan, asphalt and cross, after the Moroccan Khalid Skah. The absence of Kenyan world record holder Geoffrey Kamworor (58’01 ”), who had dominated the last three editions but has still not recovered from his serious road accident in June, could have made his task easier. But Cheptegei has undoubtedly paid for the accumulation of efforts in recent weeks.

“I’m satisfied, I couldn’t do better, did he declare. My preparation was focused this year on world records and I did not have an ideal training for these Worlds. If the event had taken place in March, things might have been different (the Worlds were scheduled for March 29 before being postponed to October because of Covid-19, editor’s note). ”

Victory of the Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir

In the women’s race, the Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir was crowned world half-marathon champion setting the best performance of all time in an all-female race (1 h 5 min 16 sec), Saturday in Gdynia.

With this time, Jepchirchir remains a good distance from the world record for the half-marathon held since February by the Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh, in 1 h 4 min 31 sec and achieved during a race mixing men and women.

Jepchirchir (27), already a gold medalist in 2016, beat the German Melat Yisak Kejeta and the Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw.


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